Motorcyclists May Suffer Crippling Spinal Injuries

October 4, 2013 | Category: Motorcycle Accidents | Share

According to the results of a 2011 study conducted by Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University, School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, when a motorcycle crashes with a roadside object, there is a significant increase in fatalities. Collisions with fixed objects such as trees, utility poles, signage, guardrails and concrete barriers, are much more dangerous than hitting the ground.

Motorcycle crashes often involve a "second impact", also known as "two or more event crashes" typically hitting or being hit by another vehicle, then a fixed object and the ground. This greatly increases the risk of fatalities and/or very severe injuries.

Motorcyclists May Suffer Crippling Spinal Injuries - Spivey Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.The study found that a collision with a tree is 15 times more likely to be fatal than hitting the ground. Motorcycle collisions with guard rails are 7 times more likely to be fatal than collisions with the ground.

The study confirms that motorcyclists who hit fixed objects greatly increase their risk of dying or having very severe injuries such as crippling spinal injuries and fractured vertebrae. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons explains that a fractured vertebrae is a break in one of the cervical bones in the neck. When this happens, the spinal cord can be damaged causing a loss of sensation, irreversible paralysis or death. The association reports that their member doctors all too often see this happening from motorcycle accidents and sports.

Injuries to the cervical spine are dangerous as they are in the vulnerable area between the first and seventh vertebrae, the area that protects the connection between the spinal cord and the brain.

The Mayo Clinic reports that 40% of new spinal cord injuries each year in the United States are the result of motor vehicle accidents with many more being motorcycle accidents than other vehicle accidents.

Naples Personal Injury Attorney  Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. says, "Although Florida allows motorcyclists to ride without helmets, it is a known fact wearing a helmet when motorcycling  substantially reduces the chance of a fractured vertebrae spinal injury. Many injured people may not initially recognize the severity of their injuries.  A wrong move of the accident victim by bystanders may sever or damage the spinal cord which leads to death or life-time paralysis."

The Mayo Clinic spinal injury team has a suggestion to "good Samaritan" bystanders of motorcycle or other type vehicle accidents. They say, call 911.  Do not move the victims but allow the EMS responders, who have been trained in cervical bone fractured vertebrae injuries, to do so.  


Personal Injury Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at  239. 337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to  Visit  for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.





Contact Us


Spivey Law Firm 13400 Parker Commons Blvd.
Fort Myers, Florida 33912

(239) 337-7483

Free Consultation